A team unites!!

x Just a quick thank you x

Well….what can we say…

An amazing day surrounded by wonderful people, great energy, cocktails, raffle prizes, sunshine and laughter!

A HUGE thank  you to everyone that came to share a momentous moment when the 6 Coxless Crew were together for the FIRST TIME ever!! Doris was also there in person to allow everyone an opportunity to meet her and see our home.
Interesting how some people commented that she was so much smaller than they thought she would be and others said she was bigger!?!

Pink ladies

There were welcome drinks by the wonderful Albion Racing Club a great hog roast lunch outside on the balcony and plenty of friends, family and supporters.


lunch time!

Super exciting to finally meet Jim Andrews and Simon TY who, as you all know, commented on our blogs every day whilst we were out on the ocean showing us so much invaluable support.
We love the way they instantly felt like old friends on our first face to face meeting. Thank you once again for all the encouragement and for keeping us rowing…
(JG and Barney you were missed but were there in spirit!)

We did a brief chat about some of our highlights and lowlights and then opened the floor up to a Q&A. Incredible to have the ever fabulous Sarah Osborne and Ceri from Breast Cancer Care there and Kate McKeand from Walking With The Wounded representing our charities and helping the event run smoothly. A big thank you!

the room

Pink ladies and family

We could not have done this without you ALL.
Old friend and new friends. It’s all about a team united and that is what Sunday’s event was all about.
A wonderful sense of community and connection.

A sincere THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all your endless support, encouragement and patience.

Thanks to all the photographers especially Carlos and more photos to come soon.
We’re off to Cornwall this weekend…so we’ll keep you all updated on the shenanigans!! x





Another week of fundraising goes by for Coxless Crew…

Its been a busy week for all of us since Laura’s blog about our trip to the Palace. Last week I was up in the New Forest at Forres Sandle Manor School presenting to them about our journey. I presented to the Prep School, but then went down into Pre-prep which was a new experience talking to ages 4 – 7. They were particularly interested in whether or not I had seen crabs and lobsters whilst out at sea! Really looking forward to taking part in their sponsored walk on 21st June across the New Forest in aid of our charities. I then also spent Friday evening at the Royal Temple Yacht Club in Ramsgate. It was so awesome talking to lots of sailors who have also been in big waves and out at sea, but also people who have used some of the equipment that we used on Doris. A massive thanks to them for digging into their pockets and also raising funds for us.

Laura has been out in Switzerland for the Swiss National Championships for Wheelchair Racing. It is where all of the top Internationals are competing, and also the last time that they are all together before Rio!

Lizanne has been planning her trip over to the UK, which is just so exciting that we will finally for the first time all be together in the same place but more importantly all at the same time! We are really hoping to get lots of team things organised for when she is over, so Lizanne has been busy planning this too!

Izz and Ems went to Kenwick Mountain Festival last weekend. They were asked if they had ever tried rehydrated food. When Ems answered that she had eaten it for a whole 9 months, the guy nearly ate his hat – don’t think that he had had that response before! Ems was also with the Rotary Club in Marlow again, as last night they donated another £1000 to our charities!

Last but not least, Nats has some very exciting news! She has joined forces with New Level Results and Best Year Yet (The results focused and goal setting program that the Team used to help us get to the start line, and also across the pacific). She will be doing individual and team coaching to help others reach their own full potential and cross their own pacific.

We are all collectively making lots of plans for our event on 26th June. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, don’t wait, they are being bought up rather fast, and we would hate you to miss out. Please do invite anyone that you know that followed our journey and would love to meet Doris! You can buy them from the link below!

Lots of Love




Event date, update and winner of competition!


What a beautiful week. It was so good to see the sun shining and as much as we thought we would never want to see the sun again after our relentless exposure on the boat…it was actually great to feel the heat again and to see everyone’s moods lifted. It’s amazing what a blue sky does to people.


Sunday June 26th is the day that we have set for our friends, family and followers event.

This will be an informal celebratory daytime get together that will give us all the opportunity to show photos, answer questions and meet as many people as possible that followed us and showed us so much support during the journey.
Lizanne is coming over from South Africa and we will be together as a team for the first time! It’s going to be a real highlight of the year for all of us.

There will be more information to follow, but for now…please save the date.

It’s been all go for the team.

Izzy and Laura had a good catch up with Sarah Moshman to discuss the production of the documentary and obviously we are all very excited to see how our story of the journey will be told. We’re hoping for a release date of beginning of 2017.

Skype with Sarah

Natalia was asked to partake in a video Blab (live web-cast) with Best Year Yet to talk about how the program helped us as a team create a successful framework with a clear focus and to set goals and prepare for getting to the start line of the row as well as the actual expedition. It was great to hear other stories about how Best Year Yet has been used with younger ages and basketball where the program is being set up to help teams achieve sports goals while also maintaining balance with their personal values and the other roles they play in their lives.

Best Year Yet Blab

Meg headed off to do a schools talk in Broadstairs. The school has done a huge amount of fundraising for us and it’s also where Meg’s aunty Linda and Elaina work for Dolphin swim school – who swam the length of the Pacific in lengths for us back in September 2015.

Meg School

Ems did a talk at Godolphin and Laytmer School and presented medals to their J16 fours crew who won at the national schools head race. They’ve also fundraised for us two years in a row in their ‘challenge your limits’ week.

A hearty thank you to everyone at the schools for their invaluable support, hard work and dedication.

LP headed to Crewsaver as they have been reviewing our lifejackets. Using them during our 9-month odyssey was the perfect test of their endurance. They worked wonderfully for us, being small, comfortable and extremely effective.


We are happy to announce the winner of our Crewsaver life jacket competition.


If you can email us your contact details ( , then we can get the life jacket sent out to you.

In other news…Doris has been cleaned in preparation for her big trip to Buckingham Palace next week – which is very exciting. So we’ll update you on that next time!


A week in the life……


Today’s blog is a (slightly late) round up of what the team got up to last week.  As ever, it was a busy week all round (except for me – I was on holiday!) and this is just a small taster of what we were up to…..

Megs gave a school talk as well as an after dinner talk at the Mayor of Broadstairs’ Spring Ball where the after dinner auction raised a whopping £1000+ for our charities, Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded.


Natalia headed to Character World to speak to the staff about strength and diversity within a team and positive mindset.  She said it was great to be presenting in their showroom and with some employees sitting on single beds – they got a very real sense of the size of our cabin space on Doris!

Character World

Ems went to the Dame Kelly Homes Trust team days (see her blog on this) and spoke at St Pirans School about the row and our values of SPIRIT.  She was also liaising with the team behind the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, who have kindly invited us to Buckingham Palace on 16 May to present Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  We’re really honoured to be asked and can’t wait to attend what will be a great event.

Over in South Africa, Lizanne spoke to the team at Tatis.  She enjoyed sharing stories of our journey with a group of people who were such great supporters and followers of our row while we were on the water.

This weekend a highlight for Laura was working hard supporting her athletes and friends at the London marathon.

For me, it was less work / Coxless Crew and more skiing, as I headed to the mountains of the Lyngen Alps in North Norway for a week of ski touring.  Lyngen is incredibly beautiful, and climbing up from the sea to summits and then skiing back down to the beach for a swim in the Fjords is an experience I will definitely never forget.





The National Youth Rowing Championships

Meg Dyos By

What a great day me, LP and Ems have had at the National London Youth Rowing Championships. LP and Ems arrived at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre by car, whereas Meg ended up confused at Tottenham Hale train station with the Cambridge Boys rowing team searching for the shuttle bus!

Once we all arrived we were set to stand and encourage the rowers and wow, we were shocked by how strong some of them were! We also presented medals on the podium to the very deserving 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of a few races which was brilliant and generally just chatted to people.

It was really great to speak with both Cambridge boys and girls teams ready for the up and coming Oxford/Cambridge Boat race in 2 weeks time, as well as chatting with Mark Hunter, rowing Olympic gold medalist .

A massive thank you to the Organisers! What a great event to attend!



Speaking…for our charities

We have entered a challenging phase of our journey. The expedition is complete but our work is not yet done. We are all either in or looking for full time employment and will be committing extra time and dedication to driving the fundraising forward.

Now, more than ever, it’s all about increasing the awareness and support for our two very worthwhile charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded.

Once again we are all going to be working outside our comfort zones for the coming months.

The more speaking we do about our journey, the more apparent it becomes that there is so much to say. This was a multi-dimensional project, that’s for sure. When we are together we can easily talk for hours and hours but our presentations are targeted and specific. The skills we have learnt from the experience are numerous and we just want to share our insights with the world.

Some of the key areas that we can relate to any business and are all happy to talk about include:

  • Leadership
  • Team work/dynamics
  • Psychological training
  • Importance of preparation
  • Safety
  • Science
  • Adventure
  • Working outside your comfort zone
  • Mindfulness and positive mindset
  • Women empowerment

If anyone knows of any companies, businesses or events where After Dinner, keynote or motivational speakers are needed than please let us know.

You can email us at

Our speaking engagements are going to be a great way to encourage more followers and therefore more donations to our charities. Honestly speaking, this is the time where we need as much money, help and support from as many people as possible!

What will you get in return? A powerful and inspirational story that will not only make you stop and question a few things about yourself, surroundings and life but also some tools that you can use to take away and put into practice yourself x



My last week

Laura Penhaul By


So this last week I started back at work. It was great to be back with the team and they are all so supportive of the row and welcoming me back. Overall it really was awesome to feel like I had returned to a place of comfort, I had been looking forward to it the whole time I was away and had missed the cheeky banter that you get in the world of Sport. What I hadn’t anticipated though, was the feeling that I hadn’t been away, as in I truly felt like I’d only been away on a two week holiday. This is great, but the slight problem with this, is that I’m back and in a slightly different role, so technically less responsibility, but it appears this isn’t something I can just switch off.  I found myself having to be really conscious to not jump in with both feet and just run with things. It was a year ago in March that I had left, I’d been away a whole year and I was noticing myself talking of the athletes as if it was last week when I last saw them! Ben who is my colleague and friend that I’m now working with on the Paralympic side of things, is thankfully the most patient and easy going guy, but I have to remind myself, what would it be like if I’d been doing a role for a year and then someone comes back and they’re like an excitable puppy? I can only imagine it would be a tad annoying! So for the next couple of weeks at least, I am trying to kerb my enthusiasm a little ;)!

I also went back to Cornwall for a few days as I didn’t get to catch up with Trewirgie School when I was last down and really wanted to thank the kids of the Junior school for all their support. Emma and I got to speak to them in October whilst we were out at sea, it was one of my highlights of the whole row. Going in to see them on Friday I got to take Dad too as he’s been working with the school to help with the amazing fundraising efforts that they’ve done. Through doing a sponsored row-a-thon day and collection during their Carol Service at Christmas, the school have raised for our charities over £1,600! We can’t thank them enough and apparently it turns it that it may not be stopping there! Here’s a link to being reunited with the pupils, thanks to ITV Westcountry for capturing it…..


And this was an earlier post literally hours after we’d arrived into Cairns…


I love this pic, this sums up how cool these kids are, when you ask them to pull a funny face for the photos, they don’t disappoint!

Finally, not only did I get to spend some quality time with my folks and best friends, but I also popped in to see David White for BBC Radio Cornwall. They too have followed us throughout the row and this morning the interview was aired. You can listen in here  first section is at 1:14, second at 1:30 and final part of the interview at 2:36.

I’m now back up in my flat in Putney, London, but hopefully it won’t be too long until I’ll be bouncing back down again to Kernow! #HomeSweetHome xx





Leg 2, Day 65 – Many Miles

Emma Mitchell By

Leg 2, Day 65 – Many Miles

Yesterday we passed an impressive milestone. Doris has now covered over 5000 miles since our first outing in Christchurch almost two years ago. Adventures to the Isle of Wight, sea survival in Plymouth, a 24 hour row in Falmouth and plenty of training out of Christchurch made up the miles before we reached San Francisco. Since then she has experienced strong winds, torrential rain, burning sun and still clear night skies. She has seen whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and many birds. She has been our home for 149 days, taken good care of us and we’ve had many laughs and jokes and a few tears on board. In the next day or two we will also pass the 5000 nautical miles since San Francisco and the 2000 nautical miles since we departed from Hawaii markers.

It is hard to imagine or explain exactly how far our journey actually is but one school have found a great way to experience it for themselves. During leg one I blogged about how inspired we were to hear about a sponsored swim happening at a swim school run by Meg’s Auntie Linda. They were swimming one length for each mile of our journey and before we had reached Hawaii they had already reached their virtual Samoa. A couple of days ago Wellesley House School where the swim school is based held a final sponsored swim to reach virtual Australia. With Meg there to support the school pulled together and after a four hour long sessions, at 7pm, they arrived in Australia. Many of the pupils swam double sessions and the top swimmer swam 140 lengths. The head teacher came and swam 100 lengths and those who didn’t swim counted lengths and were on drink duty. Having known the date of this challenge for a while we thought of the swimmers during our night shifts as they swam and knowing that they wouldn’t stop until they reached their Australia were inspired to push just that little bit harder despite the current and tiredness. It is humbling to think that we have inspired young people to challenge themselves and are grateful for their help in raising money for our charities.

We have an ambitious fundraising target to reach to provide support for our charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded and we need your help. Do you have any ideas for covering the 8446 miles of our journey (you could add on a few if you like to cover our unplanned visit to Santa Barbara) in a sponsored event? Could you help us to provide support to those suffering from breast cancer and their families? Could you help to support an injured servicewoman build a new future? Please get in touch at and let us know your fundraising ideas. If you are a school and want to get involved in our schools project then email us at

UPDATE: Last night saw an end to the clear skies and bright moonlit rowing shifts. With heavy cloud cover and a freezing cold two hour shower for LP and I the night was dark and cool. However without a breath of wind for much of the time the ocean rolled gently like silk around us and we continued to make progress South when not stuck in a squall of wind. As changeover time arrived and I was about to exit the cabin wearing my damp kit for another two hours on the oars Nats and LV hushed us and we could hear a pod of whales passing close by. In the darkness we couldn’t see them but we could hear blowing and a gentle whistling sound as they came up for air. It was another magical moment on the Pacific. Today we appear to have come across a northerly current so are back to making painfully slow progress. We wouldn’t want it to be too easy after all!


San Francisco Day 5

Isabel Burnham By

As is starting to become a bit of a habit, the day started with a team yoga and core session in the park at the bottom of Filbert Street, followed by picking up coffees, chai lattes and mini pickled gherkins (yes – Natalia eats these for breakfast!) from La Boulange.

After breakfast, Tony headed off to check in with the San Francisco coastguard to let them know our movements in the Bay over the coming days and the plan for our departure under the Golden Gate Bridge.  We stayed behind at the apartment to catch up on emails, finalise some outstanding logistics and start setting up our satellite phones.

Emma gets sat phone ready

We spoke with the awesome Ella Hewton, who will be updating our social media while we are out at sea and making sure that our blogs are posted to our website.  Ella has been involved in the row for more than 2 years and is an incredible support. We feel so lucky to know that she our website, Facebook, Twitter etc are in such safe hands while we are out on the ocean.

Skype with Ella

After a quick sandwich lunch with Tony, Nat and Laura headed off to get us sorted with a local mobile phone. Emma and I wandered down past the famous Powell-Hyde cable cars to the marina at Pier 39 to pick up some deliveries they had for us and to pop into the supermarket to keep us well fed.

Powell-Hyde cable car

The late afternoon was filled with a couple of hours of team admin.  We discovered late on that it will be another day before Doris is released from customs and we are able to get on with packing her up and starting our sea trials.  It’s frustrating to have yet another day’s delay, but it is what it is, so we contented ourselves with a well-earned dinner and a movie night.  We’ll crack on tomorrow with any of the outstanding tasks that don’t require Doris and we look forward to a jam-packed Wednesday and Thursday once we are reunited with her.